The Maneuver, like all great inventions, was born of necessity.
It was a late evening in mid-January. We were driving most of the day, and found ourselves looking for a place to camp much too close to dark. We were in a wildlife refuge right on the gulf coast of Texas- it seemed like a likely place to find something, but the road was close to the sand and there were not many paths inland. Finally Scott spotted a great pull off - a little beach road in the middle of nowhere that allowed overnight camping. Wide open beach, very few people, quiet and peaceful- we had hit the van-dwellers' motherlode. Or so we thought.
As we stood in the sand, windows and doors open, enjoying the lovely sunset and cool breeze, we congratulated ourselves on such a lovely spot. We began to make a quick dinner in the galley when the mood began to darken. It began with an itch and a slap. Then another. Soon we were completely inundated with mosquitoes. We closed up the windows and doors, but by then it was too late. We both became obsessed with the hunt. As we took turns doing the household business, the other stood on alert- slapping, smashing, swatting. There were squished mosquitoes on every surface and more still filled the air.
We had to do something. We are smarter than they are. We have the technology. And my husband's a genius.
Scout is equipped with a high-powered exhaust fan that is situated just above the bed. It can be adjusted to blow in cool air - OR- to blow air out of the van. Air, and wretched mosquitoes. We removed the screen from the fan, and set it to blow out. Then all the lights in the van were turned off and a single high powered flashlight was shone directly on the fan. Next, we turned the fan on high and watched as the mosquitoes were blown out the roof! As one person held the light, the other swept and shooed the remaining critters towards the hole.
It was amazing. Almost miraculous. We went from hundreds of mosquitoes, to a straggling handful in the space of 5 minutes. We have, of course, made screens since then. We've wised up about preventing critters at dusk. But The Maneuver has saved us countless times now. No chemicals, no mess, just big brained whoop-ass.